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Morning with WJZ-TV

Online registration is closed! Please register onsite.

Join us on Thursday, October 4 at Baltimore’s CBS affiliate, WJZ-TV, to learn how to best work with the station’s newsroom, public affairs, and digital staff to get your stories told!  Attendees will also hear about the station’s recent studio and graphics makeover and see the new set with a VIP tour.

Expected to participate in the panel discussion are:

  • Susan Otradovec, Public Affairs Manager & ON AIR Executive Producer
  • Pete Amorgeanos, Assistant News Assignment Desk Manager
  • Rebecca Gebhard, Director of Marketing & Development
  • Audra Swain, Vice President & General Manager
  • Tanya Black, News Assignment Manager
  • Sonia Dasgupta, Manager of Digital Content

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.: Registration/networking/coffee
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Program immediately followed by tour of new studio

3725 Malden Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Free parking in front of the building.

Investment: PRSA members $20; Guests $35

Fee includes light breakfast courtesy of …


The Walk of Shame … what happens when we aren’t prepared to talk or work with the media

By Peggy Hoffman, FASAE, CAE

I caught up with our two media experts for a chat about the upcoming deep dive workshop on the Do’s & Don’ts of a TV Interview, September 28, 2-5pm. Debra Schindler is currently the Regional Director of Media and Public Relations, MedStar Health; however, her career started in journalism. Debra launched her television work as a reporter for the national Fox Television network show, America’s Most Wanted, followed by work at WMAR. She netted an Emmy nomination as well as been recognized with such honors as the National Headliner Award and a Clarion for investigative journalism. Today, she oversees all external media and PR efforts for MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals where she created the MedStar Television Network and conducts physician media training.

Dan Dunne, APR, Fellow PRSA, Director of External Communications, Erickson Living. During his national spokesperson role with the U.S. Justice Department, he was interviewed each week by national news media and served as an agency media relations training expert at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Aurora, Colorado. He continues to help enhance the media relations expertise of government officials and others, recently instructing a two-day workshop enabling Franklin County, Pennsylvania officials to increase their public and media relations knowledge and news media interview skills.  

Peggy: The title is the do’s & don’ts of a TV interview, but I guess the prep starts before the interview, right?

Debra: Yes! I use this video clip (the Walk of Shame) to demonstrate the importance of contacting media relations when the media is calling.  By ignoring media requests, or not responding to negative allegations, they don’t go away. The result is an ambush interview.  And this one is from an investigative reporter I produced at WMAR -way back when- about a bad doctor. I contacted the hospital and the doctor, and no one would respond or supply a statement.  Never a good move for a PR professional. A statement would have averted this action.

Peggy: Not everybody will be confronted by TV or make headlines, so will this training translate to radio, podcasts or video casts?

Dan: Absolutely! Being successful with TV interviews is about sharing messages in a way that your audience will understand. By building your interview skills, you enhance your ability to be an effective speaker via multiple communication platforms.

Peggy: What are the top interview tips that you’ll expanding on?

Debra: (1) Use short, concise sound bites that are in complete sentences.  (2) Chances are the reporter questions are cut out of the video package so to ensure the message, put the question in the response. (3) Stay with three message points. (4) Bring visuals, such as props, models photos or video on a thumb driver or via shareable software. (5), this often gets left unsaid by the reporter … keep eye contact with the interviewer, not the camera. Reporters tend to do what they do so frequently, they forget to tell the interviewees to not look in the camera.

Peggy: Dan, what tips do you offer to control the interview or avoid tough/wrong question?

Dan: You will always have the option to “bridge” to a response that aligns best with the main messages you intend to share…your primary talking points. For example, if asked about details of an ongoing investigation (which you are not able to share), instead of saying “no comment,” you could bridge to a response like: “Since the matter remains under investigation, we are unable to share any details at this time…which is standard practice in these situations. This matter continues to be one of our highest priorities, and we will share any details possible after this investigation has been completed.”

Peggy: There’s going to an on-camera portion of the workshop – tell us more.

Dan: Because we’re hosting this in the Erickson Living TV Station, we are doing a combination of conversation/content sharing with on-camera work. So, participants will have the added value of having an on-camera interview and immediate feedback.

There is still time to register for the workshop; however, seats are limited to 12.

Speed Mentoring Event for Students & New Professionals

Speed Mentoring Event for Students & New Professionals

Registration is closed. Event is sold out.

Do you ever wonder, “What would (fill in the blank) do in this situation?”
Do you wish you could talk honestly with another PR or communication professional about ways to attain your goals? If yes, this Speed Mentoring event is for you.

Receive more than an hour of coaching from proven mentors, discussing the challenges and opportunities you’re facing in your work, or what steps can be taken to prepare for exciting careers. This will be a relaxed, positive environment in which you can receive proven career insights. This time is for you – don’t miss it!

Click here for a full list of our mentors!

Loyola University Maryland | 4501 N. Charles St.
Andrew White Student Center | McGuire Hall

Agenda (tentative):
Networking and refreshments 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Speed Mentoring 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

FREE for PRSSA members and students. 
Just $10 for PRSA members and $15 for guests. 

Registration is closed. Event is sold out.

Refreshments courtesy of … 

Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (free and available at any time) – The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen is located one mile north of Loyola’s campus at 5200 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. 21210. From I-695, proceed to exit 25 (Charles Street) and go south on Charles Street approximately four miles. The Cathedral will be on your right after you cross Northern Parkway and event parking will be posted. Please park in the lower lot of the cathedral and a Loyola Shuttle will pick you up. Upon going onto the shuttle, please let the driver know you are going to McGuire Hall. Shuttles run every 10-15 minutes and there will be a student available to assist you in securing a shuttle. Please allow an additional 15 minutes for shuttle service to campus.

Digital Strategies to Help You Break Through to Resistant Audiences

Digital Strategies to Help You Break Through to Resistant Audiences

Online registration is closed. Please register onsite.

Presented by the Digital and Creative Strategy team from FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

Tried everything to reach a challenging audience, or your new strategies seem like theme and variation of the same ideas? Case studies from FDA will show how tobacco regulators created award-winning communications that reached out effectively to engaged social media audiences. FDA successfully articulated the concerns of resistant audiences and worked with industry experts to create content that helps everyday consumers.

These case studies will give you insight on how to:

  • Leverage digital ads cost-effectively to reach the right audiences and exponentially increase reach and engagement when you need it most;
  • Create content that is relevant to your resistant audience and present the content in a neutral way that fosters collaboration, or at least opens the door to a conversation; and
  • Make your success so visible in your organization that you can justify resources to expand your program.

When: April 12, 2018 | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: The Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt | 6501 North Charles St.
Parking: Click here for site map
Investment: PRSA Member – $35; Non-members – $55 (includes lunch)

About our presenters … 

Kanika M. Watson
Chief, Digital and Creative Strategy
FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

Kanika M. Watson is a senior public relations professional skilled in the design and execution of high-impact, award-winning integrated communications campaigns. A big-picture strategist with more than 15 years of experience, Kanika has expertise building and delivering innovative strategic communications infrastructure and programs to advance leading priorities for the federal government, national non-profit organizations and corporate clients. As chief of creative and digital strategies for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, Kanika oversees all corporate digital communications including a multi-disciplinary team responsible for the ideation and development of highly-visible digital initiatives.


Lauren Rodriguez
Lead Social Media/Digital Marketing Strategist
FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

Lauren Rodriguez is a digital media and communications expert specializing in strategy and engagement for a diverse audience on the web, social, and mobile at a national level. Well-rounded communications specialist, Lauren has a decade of experience in strategic marketing and promotion, digital product development, and social media management across the federal government and private industry.



Vanessa Curto
Editorial Strategy Manager
FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

Vanessa is a digital content development strategist, equally seasoned in marketing and technical communications. A passionate plain language expert, Vanessa has worked with organizations including FDA, Justice Department, and Halliburton. Vanessa holds degrees from Rice University and School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lori MacLennan
Lead Web Strategist
FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

Lori MacLennan is an award-winning web strategist and content editor with over a decade of experience in public health and regulatory science work in the federal government, including FDA, NOAA, and NIH. University of Maryland alum.

Webinar: Event Transformation – It’s Easier Than You Think

Attendees bored? Event attendance and revenues down? Need a new approach?

Whether you are struggling to bring incremental change or a total transformation to your events, this webinar offers actions you can take today to reframe your approach. You’ll learn:

• The 5 Keys to Successful Event Innovation
• Event Audits – A How-to Primer
• How One Association Transformed its Events – A Case Study

Your presenters: Reggie M. Kouba, President, RMK Productions, and J. Scott Punk, SCPM, President, JSPunk Strategies, have put on thousands of events during their careers including the PRSA National Capitol Chapter Thoth Awards Gala, dozens of PRSA local chapter workshops, and other events.

Just $15 for members; $25 for non-members.

*Register below. You will receive call-in information prior to the event.


Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors